Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Claytor Nature Study Center of Lynchburg College

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDGIF encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail to find out whether they are still open to the public. Information regarding closures is typically posted on a site's own website. Be advised that some sites, even if still open, may have certain public facilities closed during this time. If a site is still open, maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.


Elevation: 942 ft.

This 470-acre site contains grasslands, riparian areas, wetlands and large expanses of contiguous forest. Visitors will be particularly impressed with the wetland restoration work that is returning agricultural pastures to their original wetland state. Visitors can expect to see a variety of songbirds on this property because of the wide array of habitats available. In spring, watch for pine warbler, grasshopper sparrow, Acadian flycatcher, and wood thrush. Mammals on this property include a healthy white-tailed deer population and perhaps a river otter or black bear for quiet visitors. The large expanse of moist grasslands with neighboring wetlands will give visitors a good look at a large number of dragonflies and damselflies. In addition, evening visits should provide a wonderful chorus of spring peepers and other frogs in the spring and early summer.


Location: South of SR 682/Woods Rd on SR 43/Peaks Rd, Bedford, VA 24523

From I-81 near Lexington, continue south for about 20.5 miles. Take exit 167 for US 11 toward Buchanan and turn left onto US 11 S. In 1.4 miles, sharp left onto SR 43 S/Parkway Dr and continue for 4.7 miles. Then turn left onto the ramp to Bedford and turn left onto SR 43 S. In 4.9 miles, turn right to stay on SR 43 S/Peaks Rd and follow for 6.2 miles until the gravel entrance appears to the left.

From the previous site on the Peaks of Otter Loop of the VBWT:

From Peaks of Otter Recreation Area, take SR 43 South for 6.1 miles. Just after crossing the Big Otter River, there is a gravel pull-off on the left. This area is open daily dawn to dusk. To reach the Claytor Nature Study Center Environmental Education Center, return to SR 43 and turn right. Cross the Big Otter River and turn right immediately on Rt. 682/The Woods Road. Follow this road for 0.8 miles and turn right at the red metal gate.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (434) 544-8360, eaton.g@lynchburg.edu
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily (in part)

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Environmental Study Area
  • Parking